Porsche 718 Cayman (2016) Review

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Porsche 718 Cayman (2016) At A Glance


+Brilliant to drive. Feels more special than mainstream alternatives.

-Four-cylinder engines won't appeal to everyone. Not as practical or as modern inside as rivals.

New prices start from £40,233
Insurance Group 44
On average it achieves 89% of the official MPG figure

The Porsche Cayman is now the firm's entry-level model (a rearrange of the line-up in 2016 saw it swap places with the Boxster), but you'd be wrong to think it's nothing more than a cut-price 911. It is, in fact, a fantastic little two-seater sports car, that feels more special than rivals like the Audi TT and BMW 2 Series.

There are some 'buts', of course. For the 718 Cayman, Porsche dropped the fantastic naturally-aspirated flat-six engines in favour of turbocharged four-pots in 2.0 and 2.5-litre guises. With it came improved efficiency, but enthusiasts might find the hot-hatch-like soundtrack irritating - especially if they've previously owned the old 981 model.

No matter what your thoughts on the engine (we don't find it as offensive as some), the Cayman remains one of the most agile sports cars on the market. It boasts a 'comprehensively retuned chassis', says Porsche, comprising of stiffer anti-roll bars, fettled dampers and a steering rack that's ten per cent more direct.

And if you're a serious driver, you'll love the Cayman. Its electrically-assisted steering is heavy enough to make you realise that you're driving a proper sports car, and as you approach the limit it's communicative enough to allow you to push further. There's plenty of traction, thanks to its mid-engined layout, but there's enough power to get the rear end of the 718 moving around should you fancy splashing out on a track day.

When the latest Cayman arrived in 2016, its interior wasn't that different from its predecessor - which had been on sale since 2013 and itself didn't represent a dramatic change from the original 2005 Cayman. As such, the cabin does feel a little dated compared to more contemporary rivals. It feels very well made, though, with lots of soft-touch materials and a superb driving position.

Indeed, you get the feeling that the cabin's been made with the pure intention of driving enjoyment. It's not as hardcore as rivals like the Alpine A110 (you certainly wouldn't despise it by the end of a long journey), but everything is centred around the driver, with a high centre console, low seating position and relatively small infotainment screen positioned in the centre of the dash.

It's not the most practical choice. Unlike the Audi TT, there are just the two seats, and you'll struggle for stowage compartments around the cabin. There is a useful 425-litres of boot space, but this is divided between two small (awkwardly positioned) compartments located in the front and rear of the car. They're fine for soft weekend bags, but don't expect the Cayman to cope with a trip to Ikea.

The Cayman has its flaws. But it's also the most fun you can have on the right side of £50,000. It'll put a smile on your face, thanks to its feel-good interior, engaging drive and head-turning looks. Rivals like the Audi TT and BMW 2 Series might be objectively better in many ways, but they don't offer the same sports car experience as the Cayman.

Looking for a Porsche 718 Cayman (2016 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Porsche 718 Cayman (2016)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

23–40 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a reliable, good-looking, two-seater sports car?
"I have £30,000 cash to spend on a two-seater sports car. Now, hopefully, with better weather and improved prospects on the horizon, what would you advise to buy? The looks and street cred are important, preferably a classic look and I want something reliable. Performance is not a top priority. Don't want MG, Triumph or an MX-5. Any ideas? Many Thanks."
How about a Jaguar F-Type? It's a very stylish choice available as a coupe or convertible. A Porsche Boxster or Cayman could be a good alternative. None of these will be cheap to run, though. A Mazda MX-5 is unbeatable if that's what you're after.
Answered by Andrew Brady
What sporty, 5-door, reliable cars could you recommend?
"Our 12 year old Audi A3 2.0 TDI Sportback has done 100,000 miles, so will be going, and we need a third car to back up our Ford S-Max 2.0 Ecoboost and Porsche Cayman GTS. The front runner is a Mazda 3 2.0 165 Sport, which you report very favourably on. It will be for general/family use (we have 3 kids: aged six, eight and ten) and Drivethedeal can supply one for under £20,000. Are there any other suggestions that should be considered for a sporty, five-door, good to drive, reliable car? We wouldn't touch VWG at the moment and a Ford Fiesta ST would be nearly perfect except it may be a bit small. Secondly, if we go for the Mazda, I cannot find any mention on the Michelin site that they do 18-inch cross-climates (which the Mazda rides on)."
You can get Cross Climates in 205/60 R16, which is the other size on the Mazda 3, but the Michelin site becomes very frustrating looking for 18-inch whether you just look for tyre size or try to input the actual car. You're obviously looking for a bit of power, but we had huge fun in the low power Mazda 3, though admittedly in Northern Scotland on almost empty roads: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/mazda/mazda-3-2017-road-test/?
Answered by Honest John
New tax system - does the premium price rate include extras?
"Could you tell me if the new premium rate car tax in 2017 [above £40,000] is basic list price or the cost with added extras?"
It has now been confirmed that it is price plus added extras, so you can't, for example, get a car listed at £39k then load it up with £20k's worth of extras and then escape the £310 luxury tax loading for cars over £40,000.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Porsche 718 Cayman (2016) cost?